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The War Room With Jennifer Granholm

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Israel 27, Us 10, Grover Norquist 8, United States 7, Syria 7, Clinton 5, Hamas 4, U.s. 4, Martha 3, Morsi 3, Cairo 3, Juan Cole 3, Michigan 3, Donnie Fowler 2, Anthony Bianco 2, Jennifer 2, U.n. 2, Usc 2, Juan 2, Grover 2,
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  Current    The War Room With Jennifer Granholm    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 20, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00pm PST  

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bloods" with tom selleck. thank you to all our >> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm. tonight in "the war room," old adversaries continue with their old ways. but can new players change the game? talk of the cease-fire. talk of no cease-fire. a day of muddled messages. a messy situation. talk is good. there will be more of it tomorrow. some of the parties involved we know and know well. others we don't. an egyptian engineering professor and a usc graduate at that would be the key to preventing all-out calamity in the middle east, we would not have believed it and then again neither would he.
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>> jennifer: fierce fighting continued in israel and gaza today while leaders from both sides met in cairo to discuss putting an end to the bloodshed. egyptian president mohamud morsi is overseeing the talks and he has become the central figure in the delicate negotiations. morsi was at his sister's funeral today but he did issue a statement saying israeli aggression would end today. tuesday. at the end of the day the two sides still had not reached agreement. a hamas official told reuters they had come close but the talks "must wait until tomorrow." now this is morsi's real debut on the world stage. he rose from his position as head of the engineering department at a cairo university to become president of egypt last year. it's really an intriguing story. morsi replaced, as you know, president hosni mubarak who had been in power for three decades
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and was one of israel's few allies in the region and morsi ran as the muslim brotherhood's candidate and he promised to implement islamic law. but analysts say that he's not really a true religious fundamentalist. that he had to adopt those positions to fend off competition from islamist extremists. and his background does seem to suggest that he may be more of a moderate. at least he spent eight years in the united states. he's earned a ph.d. in engineering from usc before he joined the faculty at cal state university north ridge. in fact, two of his five children were actually born during that time and those kids are u.s. citizens. but his links to this country certainly are going to be put to the test tomorrow when secretary of state hillary clinton joins the peace talks. she actually landed in tel aviv tonight and she offered strong praise for the egyptian
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president. >> we appreciate president morsi's personal leadership and egypt's efforts thus far. as a regional leader and neighbor, egypt has the opportunity and responsibility to continue playing a crucial and constructive role in this process. >> jennifer: morsi has been in close contact with president obama as well and the two spoke today for the third time in the last 24 hours. but nonetheless, this is really going to be a tough balancing act for morsi. on the one hand, egypt needs to keep its good relations with the united states in order to secure the $1.3 billion in military aid that the u.s. gives it each year as well as the additional support it gets from institutions like the world bank. and then on the other hand, morsi is a sunni muslim and he's facing strong calls from egyptians and muslims throughout the region to intervene in gaza. they want him to defend the
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palestinians who they say are being hurt by israel's economic blockade on the region. israel on the other hand says the blockade is the only way to keep military supplies from entering gaza. now, despite the talks of a potential cease-fire, today was actually the deadliest day since the conflict began a week ago. israel launched 100 air strikes on gaza today killing 27 palestinians and that brings the death toll in gaza to 137. and there was even more violence in gaza city where masked hamas gunmen fatally shot six people suspected of giving information to israel and then they tied one of the bodies to a motorcycle and dragged it through the streets. now, on the other side of the border israeli defense forces reported that 30 rockets were fired into their airspace, the israeli airspace from gaza but most of those rockets were then destroyed by israel's iron dome
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security shield that we talked about here last night. five israelis have been killed in the conflict so far. and while israel still hasn't sent ground troops into gaza, get this. 16,000 soldiers are now standing ready at the border of gaza which, of course, makes tomorrow's negotiations all the more critical. so joining me now for prospective on the conflict is hussein ibish a senior fellow at the american task force on palestine. he's coming to us via skype from pompton plains, new jersey. hussein, welcome back inside "the war room." >> thank you governor. >> jennifer: you bet. so what, just to bring people up to speed, what are the palestinians asking for this negotiation? >> well, hamas, to be specific because hamas is not the diplomatic representative. that's the plo but there is this division between the west bank and gaza. what hamas wants at this point
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is pretty clearly is to agree to a cease-fire with israel but get advantageous terms regarding the blockade. they want crossings opened. they want certain security area. i think they want a greater control over ingress and egress of their territory and less of a siege on them. they're negotiating with israel on those terms but they're negotiating through morsi and egypt as you mentioned. so they're kind of trying to convince the egyptians to pressure also the israelis so they're negotiating with two different parties here. now, the egyptian -- as you also point out very well, do have an interest in maintaining good relations with the united states and i think it goes even deeper than money. it is really about egypt's role in the region. and also has a relationship with israel.
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it is crucial to its security, the peace treaty and what not. but at the same time, ideological speaking, i think both in terms of public opinion and morsi's own muslim brotherhood ideology which he definitely does have, they are sympathetic to hamas. they want to get the best terms possible. so for egypt it is a really interesting juggling act in being seen as trying to do the best they can by hamas while also maintaining their role as mediator and while also maintaining friendly relations with the united states and working relations with israel. it is quite a juggling act. >> jennifer: it is. hussein, i'm so fas nated by the role of hamas because the palestinian authority seems to have very much a diminished role. and hamas, it has certainly had a history of calling for the destruction of israel and hamas has these ties to iran which certainly has called for the
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destruction of israel. so how does this happen? how can you get to yes with all of these competing interests? >> actually, let me stop you for a second. >> jennifer: yes. >> hamas has undergone a transformation. it is not necessarily one for the better. even though you might think so at first. hamas' primary patrons for most of the past decade were syria and iran. the leadership was damascus. that got totally destroyed because hamas is part of the broader muslim brotherhood network in the middle east as morsi is one of the leaders of the egyptian muslim brotherhood so hamas the palestinian brotherhood and the muslim brotherhood in syria is the single biggest group in the political if not military opposition to assets so the relationship between hamas and syria is destroyed. the relationship between hamas
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and iran barely exists. iran does have ties to other smaller militant groups in gaza. >> jennifer: hussein are you saying -- >> does maintain some relations with hamas but they're not close. you're absolutely right though to point out that what all of this is doing to the p.a., the palestinian authority and the plo, western friendly and interested in peace agreement with israel, not interested in a fight to the death or armed struggle. they essentially have gotten into a very huge pickle over the past year because a year ago they went to the u.n. and asked for membership and the embassy security council said no. we threatened to veto. it wasn't necessary. that basically badly damaged the p.a.'s relationship with its donor base. with the united states and with the eu. and they're receiving very
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little aid. they're not able to do their institution building program projects they're not able to meet payroll. they paid public employees both in the west bank and they can't even pay people. at the same time hamas has gone to this leadership transition where the external leaders losing their base in syria and iran have diminished in power. internal leaders have pushed the arms struggle business, confronting israel is part of the case for saying we are the leadership of gaza. not you guys outside. we who rule and we fight and that's what really i think got a lot of this going again. now, all that comes -- of authority that's broke. that's been turned away from the u.n. and sort of has negotiations with israel that are in the -- so we've gotten in a weird situation where our friends our allies and people who share our
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values, at least to some extent are suffering greatly because of our policies whereas they seem to be playing perfectly into the hands of hamas. that i think is something that the europeans and especially the united states and even the israelis have to look at very carefully after the dust settles because if we continue the way we've been going for the next year or two we will be actively and consciously deciding we prefer to deal with hamas than with people like mahmoud abbas and that's crazy. >> jennifer: oh, man. so fascinating. i really appreciate the perspective on the ground and we're going to turn now to a different view of the gaza conflict. we're going to head to ann arbor, michigan and juan cole a mideastern scholar at the university of michigan. juan, thanks so much for being here in "the war room." i hope you were listening to that conversation with hussein. were you able to hear it? >> yes, i was.
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>> jennifer: great. so from your perspective inside of gaza, i want to get at -- so the people see how has the economic blockade impacted palestinians on the ground? >> well, the israeli economic blockade is devastating to the gaza economy. the people in gaza, the palestinians in gaza are not able to export most of what they produce. whether agriculture or handy crafts or whatever. they can't get it out of the country. and so their own market and that's it. it has driven people into poverty. it has created about 56% of palestinians in gaza are food insecure. they're not starving to death. there's not a lot of --
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malnutrition. it is not clear to me why the israeli -- that should be about bringing in weapons. to send out their goods. >> jennifer: so juan, you heard hussein's description of the challenge with hamas palestinian authority. what can be done at these peace talks or at the cease-fire talks to make sure that the palestinian authority is perhaps elevated or should they? >> well, it would be a good thing for the palestinians if they could bury the hatchet amongst themselves. i think the government of hosni mubarak and egypt connived at dividing them and the is israelis as well. and the americans as well. i think the palestinians are
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foolish to allow themselves to be divided and ruled. it is not impossible that one of the outcomes of this crisis and of general realignments in the region may be that hamas is moderated and finds a way back into an alliance with the plo. morsi would want that, for instance, the president of egypt. and now that hamas has broken with damascus and is gravitating toward egypt egypt is the really big player here. it has several interests. it doesn't want to become responsible for gaza. it doesn't want the israelis to bomb cairo when a bomb comes from gaza but it would like to mediate an end to this crisis. >> jennifer: hussein said that he -- if i heard him correctly that iran and hamas, their ties were not as strong as many believe in terms of the weapons that are being supplied to
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hamas. is that your understanding as well? >> well, there had been a relationship between iran and hamas but what hussein was correctly saying was that hamas was in a position of supporting the iranians and the government in syria or of supporting the revolutionaries in syria who -- one large component of which is the muslim brotherhood. so most in hamas have now chosen the muslim brotherhood which means that they have broken with iran and with syria and they've instead oriented themselves toward egypt. so this is a big deal. there were a few iranian munitions that had been smuggled into gaza but most of the -- homemade rockets that they have that they bombard nearby israeli cities with mostly ineffectually are homemade.
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>> jennifer: okay. so mohammed morsi the egyptian president has emerged as you have identified, as we have, too, as the central figure in these talks. do you think that role, that elevation diminishes the u.s.'s role in middle east peace negotiations? and is that a good thing? >> well, i don't think it diminishes the u.s. role because egypt under morsi and israel under netanyahu are really far apart. so they do need a mediator. the united states is viewed in the region as not a reliable mediator. as being way too pro israeli but to the extent that the united states can lubricate things and i mean hillary clinton now is acting as an intermediary between israel and egypt and carrying messages back and forth the way kissinger used to carry messages back and forth between sidot and baggen. the u.s. has a prominent role.
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the terms on which this crisis might end are ones that will be negotiated between egypt and israel. i think what israel wants is similar to what it got in 2006 when it had the war with lebanon. after that, hezbollah stopped hitting israel with rockets. and i think netanyahu is up for election in january. this is a little bit wag the dog. he's provoked this crisis to some extent in order to try to get a favorable settlement so that he can go to the electorate and say see i'm the one who stopped the rockets. >> jennifer: israel would say that the continual bombing was the provocative move and that they're acting defensively for their people. what happens if, in fact, israel decides to move the 16,000 troops to a ground war? do you think that actually would happen or is it really truly a show? >> oh, i think it is entirely
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possible that netanyahu will decide he wants to invade. i don't believe that the israelis can accomplish their war aims by invading. that is to say gaza is not penetrable by israel and they cannot, in fact, stop all of those little homemade rockets from coming out in this way because even hamas, you know, has been cooperating with israel in the past few months and trying to stop the rockets. there was a truce. and israel in september i remember seeing headline where israel complimented hamas on the help it was offering so i really don't think those rockets which are long-standing issue can possibly explain why this crisis broke out at this time. i think it is about israeli electoral politics. it was something killed by those rockets. >> jennifer: juan cole, thank you very much. >> until the outbreak of this war. >> jennifer: until the outbreak of this current conflict. juan, thank you for joining us.
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go blue. juan cole from the university of michigan. coming up, walmart calls black friday its super bowl. but is the game rigged? a walmart employee tells us why she plans to spend the day on the picket line. plus, it's rule number 28 for politicians. never trust your future to a guy named grover. why mr. norquist and his infamous pledge may be up against the ropes. that and much more right after the break.
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>> republicans won't raise your taxes. we haven't had a republican vote for an income tax increase since 1990. >> and this was your doing. >> i helped. yeah. >> jennifer: that is grover norquist. gloating. president of americans for tax reform. of course, one of the most successful lobbying organizations in washington d.c. according to grover norquist 219 house members and 39 senators have signed americans for tax reform's no new taxes pledge. grover norquist's pledge. but now with the fiscal cliff looming, lawmakers who were once staunchly against raising revenues seem to be changing their tone a little bit. and grover norquist's influence may be fading fast. >> fewer and fewer people are signing this pledge. >> the pledge is dead.
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>> i'm not saying it's dead but i am saying the majority of members of congress see the fiscal cliff we want to sit down and we want to get something worked out. >> if you appropriate some of the money you achieved by eliminating deductions and loopholes to the national debt, even though that may technically violate the pledge, sign me up. that's a reasonable accommodation for a republican to make. >> jennifer: for the record, that was senators john mccain and lindsey graham so the question is this grover norquist's last stand? here with an answer is donnie fowler. donnie of course, democratic strategist and great political operative. welcome back into "the war room." is it grover norquist's last stand? >> we can only hope. look, i think republicans should just say sign the pledge for the last election. not for this congress. it expired. there's only 39 of the 40 top
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senators and republicans -- six are freed. let his people go, grover. let your people go. >> jennifer: he ain't going to let them go. all of this is occurring in the context of the fiscal cliff negotiations and what lindsey graham was suggesting was that if you close some of the loopholes and deductions and revenue goes up, that's not raising taxes apparently grover norquist sees it differently but interestingly enough, there is a push then from the left as well and there are unions that have taken out ads to pressure democratic senators not to compromise. >> how do we move our country forward and reduce the deficit? by creating jobs and growing our economy. not by cutting programs that families rely on most. we need senators udall to continue to stand up for us. >> jennifer: do you think that democrats are going to feel as pressured by the unions as
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republicans feel pressured by grover norquist? >> organized labor is the best organized, most effective strongest arm on the left in this country. they are a great ally for the democratic party and so, of course the democrats will feel pressure from labor. they are also going to feel pressure from -- >> jennifer: are they going to compromise? >> we'll find out. the democrats aren't one party in lock step. have conservative democrats liberal democrats. so the unions can't force every democrat to do something. and there's pressure also from the middle. you said pressure from the right. pressure from the left. but there's pressure from the middle. a democratic interest group that has some swaining called third way released polling that said hey, look, the democratic voters for obama want entitlement reform. they're okay with it. >> jennifer: large percentages in fact. >> democrats are in civil debate. there is a conversation to have on both sides.
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>> jennifer: that's very interesting. i think you can get reform that allows for more progressive way of getting money for social security, for example that would be a reform of entitlements but not cutting benefits for people. >> that doesn't allow social security to run out of money in 20 or 30 years. more medicaid. >> jennifer: very quickly then. we were just talking about the middle east and we understand that president obama may be considering putting president clinton over in the middle east to help negotiate the peace talks as opposed to the cease-fire. do you think that's going to happen? >> the clinton tag team. secretary clinton is there. give her a break and send her back in a few weeks after that. >> jennifer: it would be effective. >> very few people carry as much stature as the two of them. often has played the role to north korea.
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>> jennifer: an opportunity now the president has also asked a number of members of his cabinet to stay on longer. i don't know if secretary clinton is willing to do that but apparently has asked eric holder to stay on longer because he doesn't want to see a mass exodus. do you think she will stay? >> no. need to stop this war. >> jennifer: democratic strategist donnie fowler. coming up, for years they lived in the shadows whispering words like infusion and compromise. but alas, there finally appears to be hope for long lost g.o.p. moderates. their story of survival next. i'm a new dad. we at current tv are very aware of recent studies suggesting that poor diet during the first 1,000 days of human life can cause irreparable harm to our brains and our bodies.
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>> jennifer: the middle east had hit its arab spring in 2010 and at the risk of being a little bit glib, the republican party now seems to be having its own revolution here at home. it's the g.o.p. spring. or maybe even the g.o.p. fall. moderate conservatives led by my favorite revolutionary republican chris christie, they are fighting to rest control of the party from their fringe right wing and there's evidence that actually the movement might have some legs. all you have to do is follow the money! a group of -- cluster of
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moderate super pacs is emerging and they're actually pushing centrist stances on issues from immigration to gay marriage. so the question is could these groups actually change the overall republican agenda? one could only hope. so for more on the republicans changing message i'm joined by mother jones reporter andy kroll who's done some great reporting on this story. he comes to us from washington d.c. andy, welcome back inside "the war room." >> great to be back. >> jennifer: all right. so tell me about these moderate super pacs. who's involved? what issues are they pushing? >> absolutely. so the g.o.p. is in the middle of a reckoning right now. they got their buttsa kicked two weeks ago. especially among minorities in this country. they see the demographics stacked against them. they realize that they have some soul searching to do to figure out the path forward. to be a viable party. in come a group of super pacs,
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one focuses on immigration reform. one focusing on supporting gay marriage. another on gun control. that are out there and their goal their purpose is to provide political cover to provide air support on the airwaves, if you will, big money, behind republican candidates who will say no to the fringe, who will say no to the far right and will take moderate positions more centrist positions on these hot button issues. >> jennifer: so who's controlling the agenda? the politicians or the donors? >> great question. when you have the super pacs come into play, you have the ability of a donor to give $5 million, $10 million $20 million to have a lot of influence. and in a way, they can try to set the agenda if not the tone of the debate here in washington. and what you're seeing not just from the operatives, take the immigration reform super pac.
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it is going to be run by george w. bush's former commerce secretary and then a republican operative who ran mitt romney's super pac. they're going to bring in big donors and give cover to republicans who will support sensible immigration reform. sensible in their minds of course. but here, it takes big donors to make the super pacs go. it will take big donors to provide the political cover. so yeah, in a way, you have donors stepping up and trying to dictate the forward course for the republican party. >> jennifer: do you think that it is a long-term recovery strategy? is the leadership genuinely interested in fresh ideas do you think? >> the leadership is interested in whatever is going to grow their party. whatever is going to make their tent bigger and whatever is going to beat the democratic presidential candidate the democratic senate candidates in elections in years to come. i think that they realize from john boehner the speaker of the house to mitch mcconnell
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somewhat in the senate. on down, that the kinds of extreme policies that we saw in the republican primary, mitt romney, rick santorum, michele bachmann et cetera those policies are not going to win over hispanics. they're not going to win over asian americans. >> jennifer: you are not going to see i predict a super pac that is a pro-choice republican super pac though, right? that's an issue they won't touch. >> i believe that abortion is an issue that they will not touch. they -- they saw what happens when you anger women voters in this country independents, republicans and democrats but abortion i think -- the republican party is not there yet. i don't know if they will ever get there. >> jennifer: well instead of republican moderates, shouldn't we just issue democratic cards to the membership, cards to the democratic party? i don't see how they're going to do it. you have mayor bloomberg's super
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pac on gun control. do you think he and that pac have enough clout to push president obama to come out with a national gun policy much less their own republicans? >> the super pac alone mayor bloomberg's in this case, independence u.s.a. is not going to be enough alone to pressure the president to actually come out with a comprehensive gun control plan. however, you're adding another voice into this debate. one that's got a lot of firepower behind it and by firepower, i mean money. exactly. the firepower of politics. and it is only going to nudge the president or in the republican super pac, it is only going to nudge those candidates closer to finding some kind of common ground on these issues and so while the money in a way, sort of warps the debate, are you going to have people who maybe now can step up and have the hutzpah to reach across the aisle or to at least talk with the people across the aisle.
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>> jennifer: right. all right andy, thank you so much. great reporting. mother jones reporter andy kroll. up next, black friday means different things to different people. if you go shopping at a walmart this year, you might find that not everyone is in the holiday spirit. we'll be right back.
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>> jennifer: who hasn't seen one of the commercials of walmart proths the lowest prices? the reason they can make that claim is because of the low wages it pays. the average annual salary for walmart sales associate is $15,500 a year. that's about even with the
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federal poverty level for a two-person household. last year, walmart reported $15.7 billion in profits. and walmart's ceo michael duke's take-home pay his pay package was $18.1 million. that makes him the second highest paid ceo on the fortune 500 list. so fed up with their low wages employees are pushing back. holding protests for the past several months and on friday, which is typically of course, the busiest shopping day of the year workers at walmarts all across the country are going to stage a massive walkout. "the war room" contacted walmart about the walkout. here's what they told us. they said this is the super bowl for retailers and we're ready. we don't think these actions will have any impact on our black friday plans whatsoever. well, our next guest is going to
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be among those protestors. a cashier coming to us tonight from los angeles. martha, thank you for telling us your story as a walmart employee. appreciate your coming inside "the war room." >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be here. >> jennifer: well, it is great to have you here, too. you're going to be working though on thanksgiving i think because walmart's black friday event actually begins on thanksgiving. >> that is correct. >> jennifer: is that common? >> last year it started a little earlier. this year it is starting even earlier. on thanksgiving. >> jennifer: do you -- you're going to work -- do you have a choice in that? >> no. no choice at all. i have to work. on thanksgiving. >> jennifer: but the day after you're not working. >> the day -- i'm scheduled to work but i'm striking. >> jennifer: so tell everybody why you're striking.
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>> wages. benefits. retaliation. and just it's a whole package. we want to be treated fairly. equally. >> jennifer: okay. so when you say retaliation, you mean the company has been retaliating against you for speaking out? >> yes. >> jennifer: against employees. >> against employees yes. >> jennifer: so you say that wages are one of the -- one of the reasons why you're striking. do you make enough money to provide a decent life for you and your family? >> no. no. i can barely make my rent much less do anything else. >> jennifer: and has it -- you've been there nine years. >> nine years. i worked out with my landlord where i pay half my rent one month and the other half the other paycheck because i can't do it all in one paycheck. >> jennifer: i assume that's
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pretty stressful. >> stressful. if you miss a day or they cut your hours you're even further behind. >> jennifer: how has the stress affected you as a person? >> in the last two years i've lost about 60 pounds. >> jennifer: you've lost 60 pounds. >> the stress. it is stress. it is all stress-related. >> jennifer: so you going out on the picket line tomorrow are you worried? that your bosses will see you? >> very worried. they will see me. i will be out there marching and yelling and screaming and if they fire me, i have back-up. i'm supported by a large organization of friends that will help me get my job back. >> jennifer: so how optimistic are you that the actions that you and your coworkers will result in higher salaries and better benefits. >> it may not touch them now but we're not going to stop.
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protesting. we're not going away. we're going to keep fighting until we get what we want. walmart needs to sit down with our walmart and discuss how to fix this problem. it is a huge problem. >> jennifer: our walmart is employee organization that has been formed to be able to bargain and to push for the rights of employees at walmart. martha sellers, thank you so much for coming inside "the war room". good luck tomorrow. martha again is a cashier at walmart. coming to us from los angeles. that's the view of walmart on the ground. and after the break, we'll check out what's going on in the boardroom. that's next. the story that you're only going to hear in "the war room."
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>> jennifer: we just heard from math that sellers, a cashier at walmart who will put
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her job on the the line on black friday. the walton family together owns -- has so much wealth together that it is equivalent to the bottom 40% of the entire country. that's the kind of differentiation we're talking about. now for a different perspective on walmart we're going to turn to minneapolis and anthony bianco will tell us more about treatment of its workers and the author of the book walmart the bully of tboanville. welcome inside "the war room." >> good to be here. >> jennifer: it was both inspiring and heartbreaking to listen to martha's story and inspiring because she is a shero out there fighting to get better wages for those people. i'm guessing you've spoken to a lot of people in the same situation as her. >> yes, she's representative of a large segment of walmart workers across the country.
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>> jennifer: this one actually feels a little bit different. i don't know if that's just wishful thinking but do you have a sense of that? >> well, until recently, union opposition to walmart has taken two main forums. from 1999 to 2004, the ucfw, the main union representing grocery workers made a very concerted effort to unionize stores across the country one by one to get employees to vote in the union. that failed totally. in large part because walmart resisted tooth and nail. so there's not one store or one department of a store in north america that is union represented today. then in 2005, 2006, they shifted tactics and ran basically a public relations and political campaign against walmart out of washington. that had some pressure effect on walmart. what's happening now is somewhat different in that what's
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happening is that they're organizing -- they're trying to disrupt walmart organizing walkouts of workers outside the stores. it is much harder to suppress that than unionization votes but the question is whether enough workers will have the courage and are angry enough to actually walk out and it is possible they will but it's hard to envision right now. because they have -- it has been pretty small. >> jennifer: we'll see what happens on friday. obviously it is getting a lot of publicity. you never know whether something like that has an impact long-term. how is it that walmart has been allowed to do this to workers for years? i don't know if even they could be subject to penalties that might force them to change their ways but this has been happening for a long period of time, right? >> yes. i think the essential problem is that unions have lost political power as they have lost millions
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of jobs in this country. over the years the nlrb, the main federal regulator and enforcer of labor laws has ruled many times found against walmart that it broke labor laws and resisting unionization efforts but these rulings come so late to the fact and fines attached to them are so small they've had no effect on walmart at all. it is kind of a toothless regulator. >> jennifer: the challenge of course is that walmart customers, while they may feel for the employees they are certainly happy to pay cheaper prices. so it might be difficult in some cases to get the customers on your side, right? >> yeah. i mean there is a paradox where many walmart customers are from the same basic socioand economic group as the workers and therefore are inclined to sympathize with them. but they're also the people who can least afford to shop
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elsewhere. so i think many of them would go into the stores crossing picket lines or whatever they might encounter tomorrow or the next day. >> jennifer: well, you've written the book on the topic. my guess is you're probably not very optimistic that walmart is going to -- that they'll start playing their salaries a living salary right? >> no. there is a great imbalance in power between the corporation that is walmart and the people that work there. it takes a lot of courage to go up against them. walmart knows every technique for suppressing labor that there is. i would be pleasantly surprised if the protests have a major effect but you never know. the use of social media to organize disruptions which is something new. >> jennifer: yeah. well anthony bianco, author of "walmart, the bully of bentonville," i appreciate you coming inside "the war room."
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but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like.
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i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections tuberculosis lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores have had hepatitis b have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. [ phil ] get back to the things that matter most. ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ doctor ] enbrel, the number one biologic medicine prescribed by rheumatologists. >> jennifer: when brett ehrlich does a story about
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turkeys, the opportunity for analogies is to vast that one can easily become overwhelmed at the sheer volume of possibilities. but with the holiday spirit in mind we'll let him off easy and just say shh brett's talking now. >> hi. i'm wearing what my mom thinks looks nice to wear at thanksgiving dinner. tomorrow, president obama will hold the annual pardoning of the thanksgiving turkey. this tradition has a rich history which we're going to learn about. no whining! it's gobble gab. gobble gab. pardoning turkeys dates back to lincoln but it wasn't until bush 41's administration that it became a yearly occurrence. it is one of his two great legacies, both of which involve turkeys. how do they pick the turkeys? >> 25 were selected for a final competition that involved strutting their stuff before a panel of judges. with an eclectic mix of music playing in the background.
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kind of like a turkey version of "dancing with the stars." the stakes for the contestants was much higher. they die. which actually gives me an idea for how to make "dancing with the stars" more interesting. sorry, kirstie. from 2005 to 2010, the pardoned turkeys retired to disneyland. why don't they do that anymore? according to a report from farm sanctuary, because commercially bred turkeys are so genetically manipulated that cause serious health problems and half of them died within the first year. more like crappiest place on earth. this year's pardoned turkeys will live out their days at george washington's home, mt. vernon alongside a camel named aladdin. i'm not making that up. gobble gab. that's gobble gab. and i'm done gobbling now. >> jennifer: thank you for joining us here in "the war room." you all have a great
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